An Exciting Plan
By Dave Breese
The march of time is at it again.
It has brought us once again to the end of the spring season and, therefore, the end of another school year. Soon, Land of Hope and Glory will be sung everywhere, celebrating the joys of graduation or promotion up to the next level of challenging studies. It's good to remember these studies will never end, but rather are always a part of participating in that great school called life. If the classes at your place of education appear to be demanding, it would be good to remember that they are the prelude to further advances in education which are entitled Making it in the university of life.
Sometimes this is easy to forget. In fact, many students are even now saying to themselves, When graduation comes, I will move out into that serene pathway of life. I will have it made with sunlit days and moonlit evenings, for life is like a ballet with soft music in the background. I wish that I could guarantee that this will be the case with you, but alas, it will certainly be more exciting, more challenging than that. Yes indeed, there is an old song that reminds us,
God hath not promised skies always blue
So, we can be sure that God has arranged things so that life itself will be not only manageable, but a great adventure.
On this line, Sean O'Casey spoke well when he said, Well, I have found life an enjoyable, enchanting, active, and sometimes a terrrifying experience, and I've enjoyed it completely. A lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other. And to me life is simply an invitation to live. Along this line, I notice there are hundreds of little and large suggestions given to us by many as to what life is and how to live it. Therefore, I will not be remiss in adding one more, and that is that someone has great expectations for you. There are very few greater motivations in life than to remember that someone of importance has genuine hopes and large anticipations for you.
This is what the Apostle Paul is talking about when he took the time to pray for us. He said, Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love to all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling (Eph. 1:15-18)! Aha, so here we have a clue to something great. It is this, that God has a great hope for us and He has called us to something marvelous in life. Imagine that! Yes, God has a result in mind that He hopes will come to pass because of your life. In fact, He has an inheritance in the saints that is immense. Jesus Christ has made a very, very large investment in your eternal soul. Having made this investment, God, you can be sure, is working day and night for a large spiritual payoff out of your life and mine.
That payoff will accrue to your account and to mine in heaven. Then we will look with astonishment as to what life has accomplished and perhaps be briefly chagrined as to what life might have been. When we see this, we will not be children playing in the sand anymore. No indeed, we will become qualified and capable operators for the Lord in this world.An Exciting Plan
In fact, we can go so far as to say that God has an exciting plan for your life and for mine. He has a grand strategy which reaches from time into eternity, of which you and I are invited to be a part. Surely, the grand strategy of God must be something very special.
How do we know this? We know this because it comes from God Himself. The Lord is no small-time operator who deals in trivial things. No indeed, He made the universe and everything that is in it. The Bible says about Jesus Christ that All things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist (Col. 1:16,17). Be very sure then that God did not make you just to have another ordinary being to float around in life involving himself only in inconsequential things. Indeed, we are not here to merely bum around, doing little or nothing in life and then dying. No indeed, someone important has great expectations for you and He has told us so.
We know this also because God has already set that plan in motion for us. He has given to you a strong body, a perceptive mind, genuine spiritual ambition, and a sanctified imagination. Already, Christian young people have proved in a thousand ways the fantastic advantage of knowing Christ and functioning as a sincere, knowledgeable child of God. You do not have to wait until you get to heaven to experience unusual capabilities. Even in this world, in the midst of all of the problems of life, you can function as an extraordinary person. Yes, the sons and the daughters of the living God are already blessed, strengthened and led from on high. Since living within you already is the Person of whom the Bible speaks when it says, Now to Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20). Already you are (or can be) a classic example of what the strength of youth and the spirit of God, when conjoined, are able to to do. Therefore, let no day go by without stopping and saying to yourself, I am a child of God, and there is, therefore, something very special about me.
That special set of possibilities which constitutes the person that you areyou and those possibilities are sorely needed in today's world. It is quite obvious that the human possibilities of the future are now resident in the lives of emergent young minds.
You are moving into your maturity at the very time that the world appears to be becoming more infantile and irresponsible with every day that passes. Look in any direction and humanity seems to cry, Come and help us! Show us the way in times like these!
How can we know the principles that can set the direction for today and tomorrow?
Many answers to this question are afloat these days. Some say, Values are common sense and common sense will show us the answer. Others say, Values are moral principles and we must obey them. There is an element of truth in many of the suggestions going today, but there is almost no reference to the final truth by which we must live. What is that final truth?
That final truth is that values come from the Bible alone, the Word of God. When all is said and done, morality, values, standards, cannot properly be applied unless we return to the law of God. Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not bear false witness, come to us with authority because they are a part of the law of God. In fact, everyone in the world should take the time to read Exodus 20, which gives to us what we have come to call the Ten Commandments. If we ignore these, we have no other source to which to turn.Society Must Have A Purpose
We, therefore, need to face the truth that unless there is a revival of moral living, we have very little hope for the future. The society that survives must have more than clever politics, powerful computers and large armies. It must have a purpose, it must have a vision, it must have a law to live by, and a great goal to accomplish. These are provided by the Word of God.
Finally, we must face the fact that the world is infected by a moral disease. The name of that moral disease is sin. About that the Bible says, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Because of this, the world is steeped in wickedness that is terrible indeed. Yes, we have adultery, fornication, murder, degeneracy of every kind. This condition is not solved simply by standing up and saying to the world, Stop your sinning and do right. No indeed, the message that the world needs to hear is that full and free salvation is available to a lost humanity because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The message that alone will improve the future is the one that announces salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, which cleanses from all sin. How marvelous! It is wonderful beyond description that God has provided everlasting life to sinners if they will believe the Gospel. The world, therefore, needs more than simply a call to moral living. The world needs to hear that we can be justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24). So look, as you anticipate the future it would be good to ask yourself the question, What do I plan to do that will be of any good for the world? For, of course, without this, life will merely be wasted. Don't let this happen to you. Rather, every one of us must say, Lord, here's a life that wants to count for Christ and be a serious threat to the devil. Without millions of people like this, the advance of technology, the expansion of science, the exploration of space, great programs of social actionall of these will do the world no real good apart from the message that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.Knowledge of God
Therefore, all of us must learn as much as we can about the world. However, we must not be without the knowledge of God and the consequent purpose that it builds into our lives. In fact, God spoke to the Corinthians and said, Some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame (I Cor. 15:34).
Summer is coming on and I want to take the time to wish for you a very happy summer vacation. Remember that summer is supposed to be filled with delight and recreationit should be a wonderful time.
I'm happy to announce that we have an interesting book entitled, Surviving Temptation Island. Take the time to write to get your copy.
Remember also that summer is a time of temptation. A lot of immoral activity takes place during the summer and quite a bit of purely wasted time as well. Therefore, be sure not to sag down into inattention concerning important things. Pray every day that God will lead your life on that day and use you as a good witness for Him. Pray also that you'll be strengthened and will not let down your guard against Satan's activity. There may be still time to take part in some youth missionary activity in a foreign land. You may want to check into this with your pastor.
But especially, let's be praying for one another and let's be in touch. Be sure that you will be mentioned in our daily prayers. Keep us posted as to the good things that are happening in your direction.